Anguishing Case of Dad’s Deportation
Rene Meza Huerta is not the most sympathetic symbol of the need for immigration reform.
Who puts four kids into a car without child seats these days? In particular, who loads two of them loose into the back compartment of a hatchback?
Tucson police pulled over Meza Huerta Sunday afternoon, then called the Border Patrol, which arrested him. Despite protests and news conferences in his honor early this week, Meza Huerta was deported to Mexico at Nogales late Wednesday.
Meza Huerta told police he had lived in Tucson for 12 years. And in that time he had a few traffic cases, including a 2003 misdemeanor DUI that led to him spending a night in jail.
If I were a Tucson immigration activist, he’s not who I would have picked as my local Rosa Parks. He seems a relatively typical, imperfect person.
Yet when you peel back the layers of this case, and set aside the distasteful details, you see that it represents one of today’s biggest questions about immigration: What do we do about people who are illegally in this country but have immediate family members who are citizens, especially when those citizens are American children dependent on them?
What was different about this case is that Raúl Alcaraz Ochoa happened by on his bicycle, heading to Southside Presbyterian. Tucson police reports are consistent in what Alcaraz Ochoa got angry about. They all show him saying something to the effect of, “You are breaking families apart.”
I get why he was upset enough to crawl under a Border Patrol vehicle in an effort to prevent them from taking Meza Huerta away. I also respect the risk he took: Alcaraz Ochoa is a permanent resident alien and therefore deportable.
Read the whole column here: Tim Steller: Anguishing Case of Dad’s Deportation
This will surprise no one:
Surprise! Getting a few “What don’t you understand about illegal?” emails and calls after my column ran today. azstarnet.com/news/local/tim…
— Tim Steller (@senyorreporter) February 22, 2013